An Example Why 24 Hours in a Day is Enough

Have you ever had one of those days?  You know, where everything seems to go wrong.

Mine began with taking my wife to her pharmacy to pick up some medicine.

Usually it takes 20 minutes or so for this prescription to be filled.  But after that time passed with a text that her order was ready, my wife went back inside to check on what was going on.

The woman at the counter told her that they didn’t have her medicine in stock after all and for her to return tomorrow.

Flustered, we went home.  Why didn’t the employee notice on the computer screen that the medicine was out of stock when my wife first checked in?

Shortly after returning home, you probably can guess what happened next.

Yep, the pharmacy texted my wife that her prescription was ready.

If only that was the worst thing that happened that day.

When we got home, we had an ant attack in our main bathroom.  For the past few days we monitored a few ants here, a few there, and applied poison to where we thought they were entering.  Obviously they are cleverer than us in finding new ways inside.

So we killed the ants, cleaned up the mess, sprayed again.

A short while later when my son was washing clothes, my wife went to that same bathroom with the ants to discover that we had backup in the toilet, shower and tub.

Just 6 weeks earlier we had our main line rotor rootered.

Plus, two days earlier we had the plumber rotor rooter the clean out next to our laundry room and thought that problem was solved.


Luckily, the plumber was able to come out a short while later and snake the main line.

However, that was just step one on solving our ongoing sewer line issues. 

Clearly, something is wrong with the pipe from our house to the city line.  This will entail hiring another plumber who has a camera who can videotape what is going on in the line.  Most likely, this 68-year-old house has its original claypipe.  I researched the longevity of clay pipes:  50-70 years.

In other words, I’m going to have to replace the old pipe with new PVC pipe that will deter roots from penetrating.  Unfortunately, my line is at least 100 feet long.  I covered my eyes when I found online that this excavation and replacement can range anywhere from $3,000 to $6,000.

I needed a drink.

As my wife was calming me down from all this excitement, since the temperature outside was also rising, I put on the air conditioner.  It wasn’t working.  Great!

I added that phone call to my other list of calls to make in the morning.

But we’re not done.

My wife discovered that our other toilet had overflooded.  But our main line was just cleared.

It makes one fantasize about putting the house up for sale and moving to a brand new home anywhere.

Ah, the pleasures of home ownership!

There are times when one is glad that there are only 24 hours in a day.

It’s No Longer Time for Dodger Baseball

And so, another Dodger season is over.

After winning 106 regular season games tying a franchise record, a wild-card game, the five-game division series against the Giants, as well as two games against the winning Atlanta Braves who will go on to play in the World Series, the 2021 Dodgers are in the books.

As a fan, it is always a weird, empty feeling knowing that your favorite sports team in the world is no longer going to be on the radio or TV playing.  You hold on to every last moment including the final time you will hear Charlie Steiner and Rick Monday on KLAC or Orel Hershiser and Nomar Garciaparra on Spectrum.   The announcers and analysts rarely say “see you next year,” their voices and faces disappear  off the air into a commercial.

For the Dodgers, the current roster will undergo changes due to players becoming free agents, among them:  Clayton Kershaw, Kenley Jansen, Chris Taylor, Corey Seager, and Max Scherzer.

My guess is that Kershaw will return.  I can’t imagine that he and the Dodger organization don’t come up with an agreeable plan to allow the all-time great leftie to end his career in Dodger blue.

I’m afraid to say the it is doubtful any of the others will be back.  Not even the mighty Guggenheim Group who owns the club can give out big contracts to every player.

Looking back at this unprecedented 9-year run of Dodger playoff baseball, from 2013 to 2021, the only shame is that all those seasons, eight of them as first place division finishers, resulted in only one championship, and it had to be the crazy coronavirus shortened one so that critics can claim that it was because of the 60-game season that they won.  Those same critics should be reminded that the Houston Astros cheated their way to the 2017 banner which MLB should have revoked.

I don’t see the Dodgers fading away from the playoff picture quickly, but expect an eventual downturn with the Giants and Padres rising in quality for the foreseeable future.

One day Dodger fans will look back yearning for the days of Kershaw and Jansen and Seager and Scully.

For now, we wait 5 months for spring and baseball to return.

There is a Reason Why California is Known as the Golden State

A new house on my block went up for sale.  The price:  $1.9 million. 

Most of my life I have lived in Burbank, California.  I always enjoyed the city, a nice, middle-class neighborhood. 

However, Burbank is not Beverly Hills.  Never in my wildest imagination did I think I lived in a wealthy area.

But . . . what middle-class household can afford to buy a $2 million home?

The down payment surpasses the purchase price of my house.

The property tax alone is over $2,000 a month and that amount will never go away but will increase over time.  Combined with homeowners’ insurance, the monthly house payment is over $8,600.  Whoever buys this house will have to make mortgage payments exceeding $103,000 every year.

Who can afford that?

One would have to gross $150,000 in order to net $103,000.  And that is just for the housing expense.  Not included:  cars, clothing, food, entertainment, etc.

Only 8% of Americans earn between $150,000-200,000 a year.  I suppose if a married couple held down two such high-paying jobs, they could manage it.  However, how many couples do you know who fit this description?

Over the past few years, all of my surrounding neighbors have either died or moved.  All the new homeowners paid well over $1 million for the privilege of living in a nice but not exclusive area.  And each of them has late model cars.  And have made extensive renovations on what are already decent looking houses. 

Since I’ve been home from the start of the pandemic, nearly every day there are multiples of trucks or vans from workers who are employed by my neighbors.

If I were looking to purchase a house today, no way would I be able to buy the house I bought 22 years ago. 

Already, my children could not afford my house.  How will the affordability differ 22 years from now?  How crazy expensive will properties be then?

There is no easy answer to this situation.  I know people who have moved out of California to less expensive states.  Those ex-Golden Staters enjoy sharing how much more house they can buy at a much lower price in Idaho.  For me, though, California is my home.  I’d rather stay put in a smaller house that have an estate in West Virginia.  The state made its name from the Gold Rush and today keeps reinforcing that label.